Education: The Wall Can Be Too High

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Illinois' famed McCollum case (TIME, Sept. 24, 1945), states and cities with "released-time" programs have been faced with a worrisome question: Can religious instruction for public-school children ever be legal? Last week the New York state court of appeals gave an answer: yes.

The decision grew out of a suit brought by two Brooklyn parents who charged that New York City's released-time program (in operation since 1941) was a clear violation of the principle of separation of church & state. In a 6-to-1 decision, New York's highest court declared that it was not. The...

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